Re: Get enough sleep

1

Huh, I just realized I dreamt Ogged posted this link.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
2

My goal in life is to be both a true hermit and a true Scotsman.

So far I'm 0 for 2.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
3

As for the specific question of writing a journal, plenty of people do it for themselves, not for others.

Haven't read the full article yet, but the definitions in the OP leave out a possibility: someone who is famous, but then decides to become a hermit. People would seek out the signs of them and what they leave behind out of memory of the life they had led before their hermitage. Salinger might qualify. Not sure.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
4

(Speaking of sleep, not only did I respond to the stupid fucking neighborhood listserv fight about the schools AGAIN way too early this morning, but I left out a comma when I did. But I won't be shamed into running away to become a hermit.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
5

3: There are some mathematicians like that. Grigory Perelman, for example.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
6

In my younger years, when my introversion and sense of social alienation were at their most acute, I actually did think somewhat seriously about becoming a hermit. Reading Christopher Knight's story feels like a peek down the road not taken.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
7

Would you say that he is … your alter ego???


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
8

You could steal a few propane tanks, just to get the feel of it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
9

I saw a bunch of hermit crabs recently, at the beach in Mississippi. The thing is, they don't live alone at all. They were thick on the ground.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
10

I saw a bunch of hermit crabs recently, at the beach in South Carolina. I also ate a whole bunch of cakes made from what I hope was a much bigger species of crab.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
11

Pacing is not a city in China.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
12

Pacist.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
13

7: Heh. Perhaps, but for the fact that he seems to have gotten far closer to egolessness than I've ever been.

8: Maybe I'll work my way up to that. Baby steps.

Are you gonna finish that sandwich?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
14

I understand the "go live quietly in the woods impulse" but I really don't understand the willingness to sit in the woods and freeze all winter part of it. He was basically trapped all winter by the need to avoid leaving footprints.

Also, I wonder why, if somebody really wanted to catch him, nobody tried going around in the winter with a thermal imaging device.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
15

For some reason I love reading about all the gory details of people surviving the cold. That was my favorite part of A Secret History.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
16

The Secret History? An Secret History?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
17

I like the cold, but only if I have a fire or something. I've got layers (down, wool, various artificial fibers), but I still can't imagine passing a cold night in Maine in only a tent and then doing it again a second night.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
18

Another Secret History.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
19

That's very old spelling. It's Beixing now.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
20

A Secret History 2: Your Sister Is A Werewolf


Posted by: Crytic ned | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
21

I just wish he had better taste!

He stole radios and earphones and hid an antenna up in trees. For a while, he listened to a lot of conservative talk radio. Later he got hooked on classical music--Tchaikovsky and Brahms, yes; Bach, no. "Bach is too pristine," he said. He went through a spell of listening to television shows on the radio; "theater of the mind," he called it. Everybody Loves Raymond was a favorite. But his undying passion was classic rock: the Who, AC/DC, Judas Priest, and above all, Lynyrd Skynyrd. We covered hundreds of topics while chatting in jail, and nothing received higher praise than Lynyrd Skynyrd. "They will be playing Lynyrd Skynyrd songs in a thousand years," he proclaimed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
22

Not Another Secret History!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
23

Not Another Teen Movie! was actually pretty good in places. Not great. It's been way too long since anybody made a great parody movie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
24

I always wondered what happened to him after the end of The Brady Bunch.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
25

I can't believe it's not a Secret History!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
26

24: Yeah, everybody's all, "Poor Jan!" but nobody considers the plight of the middle brother.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
27

My father's uncle George may have been a true hermit.

He was that peculiar Commonwealth creature, a "sole survivor:" He was the only man in his entire battalion to survive one of the Vimy Ridge actions in 1917. He had entered the army as a private, and in 1918 was a major, so he was more than just lucky.

As soon as he was discharged, he went to the North West territories. My dad thought he occasionally had taught school, I suppose to the local Cree children. I'm not sure whether my father ever met him. After my grandmother, his sister's death in 1975, my father got a long discursive letter from him. And that was the last I ever heard. The letter may still be in my father's effects, or may have been thrown out.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
28

In similar circumstances, Hitler only got as high as corporal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
29

So if Hitler had been promoted to major, he might have become a hermit rather than a genocidal dictator?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
30

I think he would have been motivated enough to try art school again. Could have been the Anne Geddes of his generation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
31

27 sounds like a man with a much higher than average chance of being frozen in a huge block of ice. Maybe the aliens who visit our wasteland planet 1,000,000 years from now will find him and bring him back to life.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
32

How do we know he's the last true hermit? There could be hordes of them out there who haven't been caught. He's the last true incompetent hermit.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
33

OP.1 to 32, but it sure seems as if he was pretty competent for a good long time.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
34

6: Not me. I was also fairly introverted and socially isolated for a while, but never thought about a hermitage.

If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said it was because I grew up close enough to nature to demystify it. But that apparently didn't do it for this guy, who grew up in rural Maine himself. So I dunno.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
35

21: I suppose it's difficult to love Bach on a diet of candy and alcohol, but it's nice that he tried.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
36

35, 21: apparently the romantics are simpatico with the anti-paleo diet, tho.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
37

14, 17: Yeah, certainly his bushcraft was not up to par. 27 years and he never thought of building some kind of insulated/earth-bermed/underground shelter? If you're out of the wind, 20 below isn't impossible, but it's still harsher than it needs to be.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 2:59 PM
horizontal rule
38

37: If becoming a hermit is on the agenda, the first thing to steal is an old Boy Scout Handbook. I'd guess the newer ones concentrate on the skills needed to reboot a video game or smartphone.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:03 PM
horizontal rule
39

"With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn't even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."

That was nice. But still, I pressed on, there must have been some grand insight revealed to him in the wild.

Fucking jackass, I wouldn't have talked to him either.
...
Had a guy surprise me the other. Morning walk, as often is the case some neighbor or stranger says:

"Nice dogs"
"Thank you, "I says, and smile and try to keep walking.

But he starts in:" My brother-in-law has these dogs..." and goes on for 5-10 minutes while I try to politely move away. Dogs certainly wanted to keep moving, and it's about the dogs.

Later, I'm thinking, and as one-sided as it was, that is probably the longest RL "conversation" I have had in 25 years. Even, or especially, with family.

I see my neighbors every day, I nod, smile, touch my cap, do whatever business is necessary "I think this is your mail." as tersely and efficiently as possible. Same with service calls. "Water heater don't heat." Always polite, usually kind, generous when asked, very obviously indifferent and not intrusive.

Don't need deep woods.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
40

You know what also sounds hard? Carrying a full propane tank through a forest while trying to evade detection.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
41

39 was guessable, but...


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
42

I'm pretty familiar with the area, and I guess 37 is possible, but the soil might be daunting to dig very deep. It's very rocky. I guess he had plenty of time on his hands, though. What surprises me is that there are lots of camps (meaning summer homes with no insulation but maybe a wood stove) that sit unoccupied from Labor Day to Memorial Day. Many are 1/4 mile or more from the nearest neighbors, and many don't have caretakers who check in during winter. Why not stay in one for winter and camp when it's not 20 below?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
43

||
Ugh, I got tagged for the ice water ALS thing. Do I just donate, or do I have to post a damn video (everyone I see is doing both)? I hate being cold and wet, but it's my college roommate and her husband, both of whom I adore, and I don't want to be an asshole. (Plus I just learned that ALS is how the boyfriend's mother's husband ended up a widower with four kids, most of whom I'm FB friends with. Epic asshole if I don't, right?)
|>


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
44

Wait, why is donating money a bad option?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
45

43. Post a link to Mr Cent's video,
http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_13976.html#1727084


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:43 PM
horizontal rule
46

I guess don't post that actually, if there's a personal connection to the illness for someone you know.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
47

44: All my friends are explicitly doing both, so I feel peer pressure! 45 is funny, but 46 has it right.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
48

And I never have the sound on, but they're making minutes-long speeches, too.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
49

You could do it the P-Stew way (write a check, take some ice from an ice bucket, put said ice in a glass, put some whiskey in the glass, drink the whiskey).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
50

Elegant solution, nosflow. Jose Andrès used models and champagne, but I don't think I can make that happen. My work also just sent out an e-mail saying to be cautious about fundraising impropriety, so maybe that's my out. I do have that friend marathon fundraising for water.org. Maybe I could link that instead of dumping water on myself. I am forming a plan that doesn't involve being cold or wet . . .


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
51

43 -- on those facts, you definitely have to do both to avoid being an ahole. Sorry, those are the breaks.

I'd say the most -- the most, this is the limit -- mocking you could possibly get away with is to do a version of 49 where you write the check, put ice in a glass, pour the ice over your head, put more ice in the glass, and drink a whiskey. That's not full cheating but at least you get an ice dunk and it's sort of funny.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
52

My work also just sent out an e-mail saying to be cautious about fundraising impropriety, so maybe that's my out. I do have that friend marathon fundraising for water.org. Maybe I could link that instead of dumping water on myself.

Nope, not sufficient given 43. Go with my plan or Nosflow's.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
53

I get a kick out of being alone in wild places, or outside when wilderness comes to the city, as in powerful storms and blizzards. Perhaps I could overcome my sense of loneliness and hunger for companionship, which are often frustrated anyway.

I've probably mentioned this before, but when I was out-placed--I wasn't placed anywhere--the Myers-Briggs I was given didn't connect me with being a lawyer at all, but was a perfect match for field biologist...


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
54

Pre-kids I used to go camping by myself. It was lovely but occasionally lonely. Just like this guy, I also picked up Everyone Loves Raymond over the radio and found it kind of entertaining to listen to. I mean when it was too dark to read and I was a bit stoned.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
55

Inside of a dog, it's hard to get stoned.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
56

It's not too bad. You just have to remember it's pawff, pawff, pass.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
57

Is that where you guys camp?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:39 PM
horizontal rule
58

Just find a video of somebody who looks like you getting ice water dumped on them. Edit out the parts where you can see the face clearly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:48 PM
horizontal rule
59

Do a little puppet conversation routine a la Lambchop and then dump the ice on the puppet's head.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
60

Dump one cube on your pinky.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 5:00 PM
horizontal rule
61

Bathe yourself with the soothing sounds of Ice Cube.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
62

The Hermitary has some nice content.


Posted by: XiaoConkle | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
63

||

Wow, there's an Oathkeeper in the SLCPD.

What on earth could he have been trying to express by saying "God does not respect persons so we have no business passing hate crime laws"? Is he some brand of Calvinist?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
64

It's King James version language meaning God treats everybody the same.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
65

I suspect that back in the day, "persons" meant something like "personal social status." If the OED were free, I could check.

The usual quote is "God is no respecter of persons."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
66

Yeah, the first definition in OED is "a character sustained or assumed in a drama or the like, or in actual life; part played; hence function, office, capacity; guise, semblance; one of the characters in a play or story." But the modern meaning is cited starting 1340.

I didn't realize standing on the KJV could become such a masochistic enterprise.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
67

Hence Hobbes' references to "personating", IIRC.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-22-14 10:48 PM
horizontal rule
68

All this clarifies what "no respecter of persons" meant in Early Modern English, but it doesn't answer Minivet's question as to how this guy gets from that to opposing hate crime laws. I too am puzzled by this.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 3:03 AM
horizontal rule
69

Racism + deliberate obtuseness, I assume.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 3:05 AM
horizontal rule
70

I suppose so, but the obtuseness is extreme. Hate crime laws might be describe as legislating against "respect of persons" in this sense.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 3:49 AM
horizontal rule
71

It sounds like the standard "people who talk about race are the real racists" schtick with a religious twist.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 5:10 AM
horizontal rule
72

The link is broken for me, so I haven't read it and am going on the quote and the reactions, but I've been engaged in a sympathetic study of Puritan doctrine lately.

It certainly echoes it as a usage, but the meaning is perverse, as everybody here has said, and quite contrary to what the spirit of that belief system would hold in a case like this.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 5:39 AM
horizontal rule
73

70: I don't think it's very extreme as far as the American political scene. The idea that hate crime laws are discrimination isn't uncommon (and may be a majority position) in the Republican party.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 5:57 AM
horizontal rule
74

73 gets it right. And it's not so much about race as teh gay. You shouldn't be punished for your belief in a Biblical duty to rough up the queers. Conservative opposition to anti-bullying policies in schools comes from a similar place.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
75

74: Yes to the gay thing but there's also also the myopic assertion that increased penalties for a hate crime make some lives "worth more" than others (eg a "regular" murder carries prison term X and a racially motivated murder carries X+5, so the latter victim's life is more valuable). It's a willful misunderstanding, to be sure, especially when it comes from groups that generally accept the theory that harsher penalties serve as better deterrents. That sounds more like what the quote is getting at.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 6:39 AM
horizontal rule
76

Plus, they want to burn crosses on people's lawns without being charged with more than littering.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
77

I guess my concern with hate crime laws, which has been confirmed by historical experience, is that they're too often used to persecute, for instance, protesters of homophobic church groups. They don't actually do anything to encourage the criminal justice system to enforce the law equally or with an eye toward redressing past wrongs, they just make it easier for prosecutors to put whoever they want in prison.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
78

That a community, however fallen, depraved and blind to God's grace, should decide that crimes driven by cruelty and hatred, not merely by passion and indifference, should be more wicked, and deserving harsher punishment, would not disturb the likes of Jonathan Edwards one whit.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
79


78: looking for moral consistency in this crowd, or even shame at moral inconsistency, is a fool's errand. They have no problem blessing the dignified disposal of aged American flags by burning while criminalizing the same act when it's performed with different motivation. The only consistent principle at stake is "Does this law target my tribe?"


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
80

No, that did actually answer my question - I had no idea what his premise was supposed to mean.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
81

And speaking of moral consistency, another quote from the same guy: "I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, but I'm also a killer. I've killed a lot. And if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me. I have no problems with it. God did not raise me to be a coward."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
82

I was once very friendly with a guy who's now big big into Oathkeepers. Actually the only time I've ever been to a gun firing range was with that dude (this was in pre-Oathkeeper days). Weird!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
83

75: Maybe I am the only such person, but I am actually confused by this. Where can I find a concise explanation for why the attitude you're talking about is wrong?

(Requiring a greater minimum level of investigation into hate crimes would make sense to me, or reducing prosecutorial discretion - but I have no idea why stronger penalties make anything better for anyone.)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
84

77: They're thoughtcrime laws under a different name. Motives should be ignored, actions and direct consequences taken into account, and "victim impact statements" done away with. That sentences can depend on the eloquence (articulateness? cleanliness?) of the victims should be relegated to the the past on the veldt.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
85

83, 84 -- the criminal law has always punished wrongful intent more harshly (when combined with action).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
86

83: (Caveats about living in the real world, Natilo's note re:enforcement, etc.) No time to grab you a link, but think of it as two crimes: crime + intimidation. So, you burn some 4x4s in a field somewhere, it's vandalism, sure. Burn a cross on someone's front lawn, it's vandalism + a message that African Americans (both in that house and elsewhere) are in danger of continued violence unless they move. The added penalty is a censure of the message rather than the act itself. A harsher sentence isn't a valuation of the victim, or that killing some folks is more or less wrong.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
87

86: Yeah, I know. But it's not perceived that way intellectually or emotionally by the general public. Laws should not be created for the appreciation of law journal editors.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
88

There's a difference between intent (what is it that you mean to happen as the result of your actions) and motive (why do you want that thing to happen). Motive generally isn't an element of a crime, but intent almost always is. And largely, hate crime laws are about intent rather than motive. If someone burns an enigmatic symbol on my lawn, and spraypaints across my house "For completely individual reasons idiosyncratic to myself and my impression of you, I want you dead", I'm terrorized. And that's a crime, and should be. But the damage is mostly just to me -- I'm scared because I have a crazy person harassing me.

If someone burns a cross on a black family's lawn, and spraypaints "N-s Out Of The Neighborhood Or Die", they're terrorized just like I am. But every other black family who knows about it is terrorized as well, and the structure of society is damaged in a way that it isn't when I'm personally targeted as an individual. It's a different intent, and a different type of damage, so a different punishment is reasonable and legitimate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
89

I am so pwned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
90

Going out tagging with LB must be a very carefully negotiated experience.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
91

87: I always thought it was the other way around. The legal community contains main people who take very strong views on the first amendment. And I don't think ordinary people had any trouble understanding that certain crimes were worse because of how and why the target was selected. I think most of the opposition in the general public was by people who either wanted to be able to be free to use extra-legal intimidation or just like being able to shout "reverse racism" for policy reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
92

The Supreme Court case Virginia v. Black features a long discussion of cross burning and the KKK. Sandra D. blames the Scots:

Cross burning originated in the 14th century as a means for Scottish tribes to signal each other. See M. Newton & J. Newton, The Ku Klux Klan: An Encyclopedia 145 (1991). Sir Walter Scott used cross burnings for dramatic effect in The Lady of the Lake, where the burning cross signified both a summons and a call to arms. See W. Scott, The Lady of The Lake, canto third. Cross burning in this country, however, long ago became unmoored from its Scottish ancestry. Burning a cross in the United States is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Ku Klux Klan.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:22 AM
horizontal rule
93

I understand the logic, I really do. Living in WeHo one can't avoid this discussion every time someone gets beaten or worse. What I don't see is the utility, I don't see data showing those laws accomplish anything useful. I do see them creating resentment.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:23 AM
horizontal rule
94

They have no problem blessing the dignified disposal of aged American flags by burning while criminalizing the same act when it's performed with different motivation. The only consistent principle at stake is "Does this law target my tribe?"

I don't think this is hypocrisy, necessarily. The action that they want to punish is a symbolic action, so they can accept some instances of flag burning without being inconsistent if those don't carry the same symbolic weight (now, whether it's possible to ban symbolic actions is a separate question).

But thinking about that symbolism does give me an excuse to link to the excellent essay Men Without a Country: Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, My Father and Me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
95

I don't think there is a position consistent with basic human decency that won't create resentment in people like the guy in the article linked in 63.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
96

The fact that concern trolling seems to have caught on with a segment of the general public that would like to believe that racism ended half a century ago doesn't detract from the importance of these statutes in specific cases.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
97

93, 95: Avoiding the creation of resentment isn't really important in the scheme of these things, is it? The distinction between hate crimes (terroristic because intended to have a chilling effect on not just the victim) and regular crimes is meant to stigmatize the former. It's a form of shaming.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
98

Further to 93, which asks for data indicating whether hate crime laws have an effect: I don't know quite how you'd measure that, but I would think that the shaming effect has had some positive influence on public attitudes toward homophobia at the very least.

Attitudes toward racism are a harder nut to crack.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
99

I was going to post this comment on the Alaska hermit thread, but who didn't love reading My Side of the Mountain as a kid? Sharing the book and the movie is among one of my favorite father/daughter memories. That, and reading my dad's ancient copy of Snow Treasure (I think it was called).


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
100

Wait, isn't this the Alaska hermit thread?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
101

This is the Maine hermit thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
102

Real hermits don't have threads.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
103

Oh, that Krakauer thing. Didn't think of that guy as a hermit, exactly.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
104

Don't put hermits in a box.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
105

98: I don't know how to get a good measure either. I doubt there's much of a shaming effect tho', it doesn't seem to work on the overweight. I'd guess the AIDS crisis publicity, the willingness of the media to put on a show like Will & Grace, and various celebrities coming out of closets has more to do with some lessening of homophobia.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
106

Oh, that Krakauer thing. Didn't think of that guy as a hermit, exactly.

At least not a very successful hermit.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
107

who didn't love reading My Side of the Mountain as a kid?

Oh, I was about to say that I loved that, but in fact it's The Other Side of the Mountain that I recall.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
108

105: Wait, are there hate crimes laws targeting fat people who commit crimes? I'd better start getting more exercise.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
109

105: bio, do you think there's no point in distinguishing hate crimes?

I'll have to think about this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
110

Okay, I have thought about it. It seems clear to me that more severe punishment for hate crimes does indeed have a deleterious effect on the perpetuation of those crimes. I don't have any data. I suppose we can go back to the days during which such more severe punishment was not in place, and see what things were like then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
111

Or, you know, maybe things just magically got better.

I *do* understand that the racist homophobic et al. elements in our society are deeply resentful that they've been branded assholes. Sorry. Do we need to have more of a dialogue with them? Hand-holding, as it were?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
112

Hand-holding, as it were?

They might not welcome that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
113

111: I don't think magic had much to do with it, I think lots of "coming out" had lots to do with it. And I'm not advocating hand-holding of those off in the deep end of the hate pool. I don't see any need to push people into that pool tho', if there's nothing to be gained by it.

What bothers me about "intent" is it can require mind-reading. Some is pretty easy, but some not so. We had lots of commotion out here when some guy got brained by a baseball bat wielding assaulter who didn't say anything. Hate crime? "Yes", according to the gay activists, "No", according to the DA.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
114

113.2 is properly dealt with by the presumption of innocence & requirement for evidence.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
115

Belatedly to 43: My not-very-political brother-in-law just uncharacteristically posted a link to this article on how the ice bucket challenge is raising millions, but the NIH budget has been cut by billions. I was impressed.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
116

The reasoning behind hate crime laws seems pretty clear to me. They carry greater penalties because they harm more then just the individuals who are targeted, they indirectly, and intentionally, harm an entire subpopulation.

It's the same logic behind putting the murder of a witness to a crime in a special category (as I believe is done in New York state). It's not because anyone is claiming that a witness's life is inherently worth more than other peoples', it's that murdering a witness attacks the entire legal system and not just the witness her/himself.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
117

109: To be explicit, no. If the society doesn't want crosses burned on people's lawns or graffiti painted on buildings, it's easy enough to legislate against burning or painting stuff without the proper permissions and consents. Off with their heads, all them.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
118

Here's the latest one in this area. Off to do some errands, y'all will have to fulminate without me to help.

"LAPD is investigating the beating death as a homicide, according to LAPD Media Relations, but while Estrada was gay, it has not yet been determined whether the beating that lead to his death is a hate crime. One reason may be that Estrada's cell phone was missing (apparently he did not have his wallet with him), which may suggest the assault was part of a robbery and that Estrada may not have been targeted specifically as a gay man, which is required under the hate crime law.
That has long been a strong point of contention in the LGBT community since law enforcement and the "LGBT community have long known that gays are often the target of robberies because perpetrators believe gay men are easy victims because they are perceived as "weak" and will not fight back. However, unless the word "faggot" or some other anti-gay derogatory remark is heard during the commission of the crime to indicate the attacker is aware of the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity, the attack is not considered a hate crime. Robbers have learned this, too."

http://www.bilerico.com/2014/08/hate_crime_west_hollywood_gay_beating_victim_dies.php


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
119

114 yes, and a reasonable doubt standard.

A person killed execution style in front of their family is just as dead as one killed by a mechanical malfunction in their car. We have, and have always had, room for the concept of the depraved heart. IMO, complaints about hate crimes are usually special pleading by those who won't acknowledge the depravity of a particular hatred. Or concern trolling.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
120

Thomas Merton was sort of a hermit manqué: he seems to have often written about, and claimed, a desire to be stereotypically eremitic, but continuously to have corresponded with the outside world, published books, traveled hither and yon, etc., etc.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
121

117: Babe, I'm not sure I really understand this. I'm not sure legislating against a list of specific acts addresses the problem.

biohazard, you sound libertarian here. Which is okay, I'll still love ya.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
122

Oh my goodness, 121 before seeing anything after 117.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
123

Thomas Merton...traveled hither and yon

Fat lot of good that did him, ultimately.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
124

?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
125

Merton did live in a "hermitage" in his 50s on the grounds of his monastery, but, per 120, he led a very public life for being a non-pastoral priest.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
126

There is potential in the conceit of a writer trying to book-tour away from Death but I'm not sure it's quite applicable.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
127

121: Libertarian? Not a chance, even if there's a match-up somewhere on some issue. I just don't think "hate crime" legislation adds anything particularly useful to the mix and arguing about the inclusion or exclusion of any particular incident is a waste of time and effort. CC's comparison of a car malfunction to an execution style killing is just silly.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
128

Libertarian Hermits: Go!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
129

124: He was electrocuted in a bathroom in Thailand.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
130

Many paths up the mountain, my brother.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
131

I'd hope for better wiring on the seventh storey.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
132

129: That's just the story the Carradine family wants you to believe.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
133

The thing is, it really is very important to get enough sleep.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
134

I liked Ash: A Secret History. I never got around to the other one, A Brief Secret History of Time, or whatever it was.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 5:05 PM
horizontal rule
135

125: I love the book of Merton's correspondence with Czes/law Mil/osz. When I asked the latter about the former, he said that Merton didn't look at all like one might expect--that he was robust, full of energy, etc.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-23-14 5:38 PM
horizontal rule
136

I suppose it's relevant that the idea of harsher punishments for moral depravity in general puzzles me too. I understand the idea of punishment as deterrent, as conditioning, as a way of removing the criminal from society. I even sort of understand revenge, although it sounds obscene, like the sort of thing we should all be embarrassed to admit to, not the sort of thing that should be part of public policy.

But the idea that you need to harm evil people (i.e. people who are already broken) more than people who are mostly good? That's just weird.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
137

Benquo: hate crimes have worse consequences than other crimes, as described in 88.2, so the punishment should be higher. Moral depravity of criminal doesn't have to enter into it (though it does in some people's calculations).


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
138

Right. How evil the criminal is doesn't really enter into it -- the point of different punishments for hate crimes is that they have concretely different effects on society.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:48 PM
horizontal rule
139

138 Which is why the "hate crimes are thoughtcrimes" argument misses the mark entirely.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
140

||

As a counter to the question of hate crimes, this lovely remembrance of Jean Redpath. Listen to her.

I know her name, but wasn't really familiar with her voice. More fool me!

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
141

I've joined others on this blog in the past in finding much of what Keillor does tiresome. But one of the best things he's done over the years is showcase performers like Redpath and make sure his audience heard them. She was on frequently in the early years, and judging from the link, not too long ago also.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
142

136 You could think of punishing depravity harder as more of a withholding of leniency.

How long does someone need to be in jail? Long enough so that neither they nor anyone else wants to do that thing again. How long is that? It depends not only on what was done, but also on who did it and why. While motive might not matter in terms of guilt or innocence, but it's a big deal in sentencing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
143

139 -- It also doesn't enter into it because what's being punished is conduct, not thought.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 7:57 PM
horizontal rule
144

For those who care, Holmes' The Common Law is very good on how intent, which would seem to require "mind reading," is found entirely from externals, from conduct.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
145

Oh no. I can't even guess how many times I've heard the Angels Hovering Round album. Certainly twice for every long car ride I've taken with my Dad.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 8:49 PM
horizontal rule
146

137, 138: I do understand that reason - although this thread is the first time I've seen that argument made explicitly. (Thanks! I'm not sure I'm convinced, but now at least I know there's a sensible-sounding argument for special penalties for hate crimes.) I just don't understand 119 or 142.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-25-14 9:41 PM
horizontal rule
147

Of the commonly cited reasons for punishment (deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation, and retribution), I think the first three are legitimate, while the fourth is completely and utterly not a good reason to punish anyone (though I understand why victims would feel otherwise, and I might feel the same way in their place).

Since I have no reason to believe that society undervalues the value of punishment in achieving deterrence, rehabilitation, or incapacitation, but dramatically (infinite multiplier) overestimates the value of punishment as retribution, my guess is that jail sentences are longer than they should be *across the board*, even apart from the stupidity of the drug war etc.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
148

Actually, I think society probably underrates the ability of punishment to deter crimes. But I think the overrating-retribution effect is stronger, plus I think society overrates the rehabilitative ability of punishment. Let the bad guys out [slightly sooner]!


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
149

I don't see what's so hard about 119 or 142 unless you don't have any good idea of how the criminal justice system works now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:53 PM
horizontal rule